Leading a band of Viking explorers setting out to the south, the woman warrior Freydis and her crew get as far as Panama, but nobody ultimately knows what became of them. Centuries afterward, Christopher Columbus is taken captive by Incas. Thirty years later, Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, arrives in Europe in the ships stolen from Columbus. He finds a continent divided by religious and dynastic quarrels, and downtrodden populations ready for revolution. In this alternate history by the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist HHhH, the stage is set for a Europe ruled by Incas and Aztecs.